FBI translation: um…err…sorry, (nervous laugh)…nevermind…sorry we wasted taxpayers’ money, and sorry that by forcing Apple to spend money on lawyers, we’re also responsible for eroding shareholder value and potentially making future Apple devices juuust a bit more expensive…our bad…
All you really need to read if you believe that “just one phone” is somehow a compelling *or* realistic argument is right here:
…New York City police commissioner, William J. Bratton, and the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., criticized Apple after it refused to comply with the court order and said that they currently possessed 175 iPhones that they could not unlock.
Charlie Rose recently interviewed Mr. Vance and asked if he would want access to all phones that were part of a criminal proceeding should the government prevail in the San Bernardino case.
Mr. Vance responded: “Absolutely right.”
Even people who oppose the Justice Department’s request concede the government made a smart first move, one that could establish precedent to justify more invasive tactics.
“They’ll come up with a reason why for every single phone,” said Chris Finan, a former White House security adviser…
Courtesy of the New York Times.
We have couples who want to legally declare their devotion to each other, raise children in loving households, and are willing to fight for their country? How much more American do you want them to be? Do they need to gain 40 pounds of belly fat and wear black socks with sandals and buy tickets to see Jimmy Buffett? One day soon you will have a gay family living next door. And their kids will be better dressed, better behaved, and WAAAY better dancers than your kids.
Estimated cost of the 2008 presidential campaign and congressional races: $5.3 billion
Estimated amount of money spent in 2008 on Halloween candy, costumes, and decorations: $6 billion
Source: USA Today
“It’s a bit odd that we give the Undecided Voter such a privileged place in American elections. Because from a civic standpoint, few creatures are as contemptible. This election has dominated every form of American news media for the better part of two years. Newspapers, magazines, networks, cable, radio, blogs, people on street corners with signs — it’s really been rather hard to miss. Further, it pits two extremely different candidates against each other. Whether your metric is age, ideology, temperament, race, funding sources, healthcare plans or Iraq strategies, it would be hard to imagine two men presenting a starker contrast.
But despite this, the Undecided Voter wakes up each morning and says, in effect, “I dunno.” And the political system panders to him. Undecided voters are believed to be the decisive slice of the American electorate, so they get the debates and the ads and the focus groups (assuming, that is, that they live in a battleground state).” -Ezra Kelin, L.A. Times
I would go so far as to say that, despite the efforts of the “get out the vote” groups, people who aren’t familiar with the issues and people who don’t quite understand the differences between Obama and McCain and their positions simply should not vote. To leave important political and policy decisions to people who, in effect, wake up on Election Day and decide “hmm…I dunno…I guess I’ll vote for X” is absurd beyond belief.
Yes, it is your civic duty to vote. But even more important is your civic duty to vote responsibly. If you know of any “undecided” voters who couldn’t or wouldn’t learn enough about the issues and candidates to cast an informed vote, please do your civic duty and encourage them not to vote!
via Boing Boing
Hopefully a few years from now, this will be funny:
I NEED TO ASK YOU TO SUPPORT AN URGENT SECRET BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH A TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF GREAT MAGNITUDE.
I AM MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY OF THE REPUBLIC OF AMERICA. MY COUNTRY HAS HAD CRISIS THAT HAS CAUSED THE NEED FOR LARGE TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF 800 BILLION DOLLARS US. IF YOU WOULD ASSIST ME IN THIS TRANSFER, IT WOULD BE MOST PROFITABLE TO YOU.
I AM WORKING WITH MR. PHIL GRAM, LOBBYIST FOR UBS, WHO WILL BE MY REPLACEMENT AS MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY IN JANUARY. AS A SENATOR, YOU MAY KNOW HIM AS THE LEADER OF THE AMERICAN BANKING DEREGULATION MOVEMENT IN THE 1990S. THIS TRANSACTIN IS 100% SAFE.
THIS IS A MATTER OF GREAT URGENCY. WE NEED A BLANK CHECK. WE NEED THE FUNDS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. WE CANNOT DIRECTLY TRANSFER THESE FUNDS IN THE NAMES OF OUR CLOSE FRIENDS BECAUSE WE ARE CONSTANTLY UNDER SURVEILLANCE. MY FAMILY LAWYER ADVISED ME THAT I SHOULD LOOK FOR A RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY PERSON WHO WILL ACT AS A NEXT OF KIN SO THE FUNDS CAN BE TRANSFERRED.
PLEASE REPLY WITH ALL OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, IRA AND COLLEGE FUND ACCOUNT NUMBERS AND THOSE OF YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO [email protected] SO THAT WE MAY TRANSFER YOUR COMMISSION FOR THIS TRANSACTION. AFTER I RECEIVE THAT INFORMATION, I WILL RESPOND WITH DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT SAFEGUARDS THAT WILL BE USED TO PROTECT THE FUNDS.
YOURS FAITHFULLY MINISTER OF TREASURY PAULSON
Estimated amount by which per-gallon gas prices would change if the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge were drilled: -4¢
Source: Harper’s Index August 2008